Sandy…A Long StormOctober 26th, 2012 at 10:05 am by Jeremy Wheeler under Weather
Sandy is going to be a broad storm. Therefore the effects will be felt well before and after the storm moves through/near the region. Sandy is still a hurricane this morning with winds near 80mph. The thunderstorms have moved a bit north of the center of circulation. That is a good thing, and maybe we will see some weakening.
Sandy has made the northwest jog as many of the computer models had projected. They almost all have Sandy making a curve back to the northeast in the next 24 hours. It will still well south of here on Saturday. There is good model agreement on the track up until then. Beyond that the models split.
The models that had the storm closer to shore have trended east up until about the latitude of the Virginia/North Carolina state border. After that point those same models run the storm into the Delmarva peninsula. As you can see there are other models which have the storm moving farther north before moving inland. This includes the GFS and Canadian models. So basically this system may be making landfall somewhere between the Virginia Eastern Shore all the way up to New York City from Sunday into Monday.
It goes without saying that that is a big spread. Regardless this will be a very large storm. So even if it stays offshore past Virginia, we will still feel plenty of effects here. At a minimum we expect winds gusting to 50mph near the shore, moderate tidal flooding, and heavy rain along the coast. That’s the minimum. If the storm were to move inland towards Hampton Roads, then we would see some major tidal flooding as in the Nor’easter of 09′. I’m still not sure where that would occur yet though.
So based off of the most likely latest track from the National Hurricane Center here’s what we can expect across the region. Heavy rain will fall along the coast. 4-8″ is possible from Hatteras up to Virginia Beach between late Saturday into Monday. 2-4″ elsewhere. Here is what our model is estimating:
The tidal flooding is expected to be moderate with the tidal surge up about 3-4 feet above normal. For reference the current forecast tide for Sewell’s Point is between 5.5-7ft. That range is between the GFS (5.5ft) and European (About 7ft or so estimated) solutions. The 7 ft would be major. Remember the tide at Sewell’s Point got up to 7.74ft during the Nor’easter of 09′. 7.94ft during Isabel (2003). If you go a bit above the average, then probably about 6-6.5ft. Here is the latest forecast for tides in the region. Tidal forecast.
Winds will be gusting up to about 55-65mph near the shore. That will be more towards the Outer Banks until the storm starts to move northwest. Then the Eastern Shore may see some very strong winds over 65. If the storm heads farther north, then it won’t be as bad. Inland locations will see gusts closer to 45mph.
Overall, this storm has a chance to be a major storm. I would prepare your hurricane/emergency kits to prepare for the worse scenario. I don’t know if the local governments and emergency managers will call for any evacuations, but it’s possible. If they did, then it would probably be the coastal and low lying areas that usually get affected by these types of storms. There will probably be power outages in the region. The specific track will determine whether they are scattered or widespread. Hopefully, this thing will follow the GFS route and head up towards the north. We’ll have more details as we go through the day.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler